I believe the appropriate term is Money Shot. In an omakase where almost every course can earnestly (albeit still awkwardly) be described as a ‘mouthgasm’, it takes something truly extraordinary to up the ante. For Choji Yakiniku’s contribution to the omakase scene, that would be the A5 wagyu katsu sando: Kagoshima Wagyu chateaubriand of the highest grade is deftly deep-fried, dressed up with just the right amount of mustard & onion relish, then sandwiched between two crustless slices of Azuki Bakery shokupan. And yes, you still get to eat the (very underrated) crust. It’s the dish that demands absolute silence during its consumption – though the occasional utterance of unadulterated pleasure, or expletive as it may be, is as excused as it is expected.
I’ve said it before on a previous IG post: Yamamoto Takashi & Tomoyuki Matsuya’s yakiniku/sushi franken-hybrid omakase is – at least for meat eaters – one of the best dining experiences money can buy in Sydney. You are talking about a meal that is simultaneously run by two literal head chefs – Takashi’s shindig digging the shins of anything that moos; Matsuya’s years of training as a sushi master (who just also happens to know a thing or two about beef preparation) – coming together to form a sum greater than its parts, and greater than anything this city has to offer.
If you’ve had the fortune of visiting, you’ll sort of know what I’m talking about: it’s the kind of theatrical, fun-filled experience that defies categorisation (even among omakase offerings in the harbour city), and so while traditionalists may baulk, their palates can’t be curbed by principles nor tradition: everything is just bloody delicious – AF. My personal favourites? With ‘the entire menu’ presumably being an invalid answer, I’ll put my top three as the hand roll – using yukke-style raw wagyu rib tartare as play on the traditional tuna hand roll; the thick-cut ox tongue (an unusual & rare serving method) with a bouncy, resistive texture that’s infinitely chewable; and of course, that ludicrously delicious A5 katsu sando that blurs the figurative & literal line when it comes to ‘melt-in-your-mouth’. Can I put up the rest of the menu as honorary prize recipients?
One last thing: the last of my birthday celebrations for the big three-oh(dear) was marked by a most incredible surprise: a full-sized version of Tetsuya’s famous mirror glaze chocolate entremet. Ordinarily served only as a petit four at Tetsuya Wakuda’s eponymous restaurant, this is the sort of cake that – no direspect to the rest of its menu – gets people to say ‘if only I could visit the restaurant just for this!’ Probably an overreaction, but people typically don’t make these remarks about average desserts. All in all, a collaboration as unexpected as it was awesome.
What a shame then that this post is effectively an obituary: for various reasons, this particular incarnation of the omakase is ending June’s passing – and of course, all seats have been accounted for long ago. With that said, a glimmer of hope: new concepts are set to emerge in July, tying in with an expansion of the Choji empire to several new stores. Let’s just hope that there are plenty more Money Shots to come.
This post is based on an independently-paid visit to Choji Yakiniku
Date Last Visited: 4 June 2021 (3 visits)
Address: 228 Victoria Ave, Chatswood NSW 2067
Price Guide (approx): $230 plus drinks
- One of Sydney’s best, full stop.
- You can’t get it anymore.
- Oh do I wish I had a bone to throw…
Would I return: in my dreams
F8.5 | S5 | A2
See how I score here
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